Turkish Parliament will vote on Erdogan’s official call for authorization of a two-year extension of the cross-border military operations in Iraq and Syria.
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) group deputy chair Saruhan Oluç held a press conference in the parliament on Monday evaluating the latest developments on Turkey’s agenda.
Oluç reminded that 7 of the 10 ambassadors that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to expel from the country are members of the Council of Europe. He emphasized that Turkey is a party to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) along with these countries. “It is not possible to logically explain that they are treated this way just because they urged Turkey to implement the ECtHR decisions,” he said.
The HDP politician stressed that the decisions of the ECtHR fundamentally concern the member states. “Applications to the ECtHR are mainly individual applications against the states. Therefore, the decisions and results are under the responsibility of the states. No one who knows about the ECHR and ECtHR can say that the matter appertains to the judiciary. The matter appertains to the state and the government. It is a decision against the state. A government which does not respect democracy and the law, does not recognize and implement the decisions of the ECtHR and violates Article 46 of the ECHR, cannot get over this matter by claiming that the judiciary is being interfered with. This is not convincing. This claim is not true,” he said.
‘ERDOĞAN WANTS TO CREATE ARTIFICIAL CRISES’
Oluç pointed out that the issue of human rights has ceased to be the internal affair of states since World War II. He added that this is how international conventions and agreements are formed. “The issue of human rights is outside the jurisdiction of states. We have a government that does not know this and does not inform the public about it. No state can violate the human rights of its citizens as it wishes. No state can say that. What needs to be done in accordance with the ECHR is the implementation of the ECtHR decisions.
The HDP group deputy chair remarked that the Erdoğan regime is trying to get out of the crisis it is currently experiencing through artificial crises.
“The economy is going through a crisis which causes the Turkish lira to sink. This government should stop pretending to respect the law. It does not respect the ECtHR decisions concerning Kavala and Demirtaş. The Council of Europe has a meeting in November, where Turkey will be discussed once again. This government has no right to lead Turkey into this state. We once again urge the government to implement the decisions of the ECtHR. Do not insult those who call for the implementation of them.
What a revanchism! The government has just vowed to declare 10 ambassadors as persona non grata. The Turkish government rules a country which is a member of the Council of Europe. The parliament of Turkey signed the Convention of the Council of Europe. The government has to comply with the convention and the court rulings, and not resort to legal tricks. The Turkish currency is sinking into record low levels because of this. The Turkish lira is fluctuating around 9.80s against the US dollar. Why does the government make statements that weaken the Turkish lira versus the US dollar? Why does this government deliberately turn a blind eye to the further depreciation of the Turkish lira? Who gets these dollars? Who gets rich? The ones who are becoming poor are the people, society, retirees and tradesmen. Where is the finance minister? Anyone hears or sees him? The finance minister is not there, he is silent. As the economy collapses, the finance minister remains silent. Where is the finance minister when the Turkish currency is weakening?
The Central Bank has lost two of its major financial instruments. One of them is interest rates. Thankfully, the interest rate has been lowered by the AKP chair serving as the president. The second instrument is the currency. The government is no longer able to interfere with the currency because the Central Bank reserves are melting. This government has melted the reserves of the Central Bank. The finance minister is silent. Where are you, the finance minister? Why are you silent? Why don’t you take a stand?
Turkey’s foreign policy is faced with failures in every sense. We said that the official Eastern Mediterranean policy is wrong; we need diplomacy, not military operations. We said that the policies concerning the Aegean and Libya are wrong. Confronting western allies is wrong; diplomacy is needed. We said that there is no need for harsh words, polarization or escalation. It has turned out that all the polices pursued by the government are wrong. The government has gradually drifted away from all of them. The latest issue of ambassadors is a good example. The new mandate that will be debated tomorrow in the parliament is another example of the same mentality. The bill that asks to extend Turkey’s military presence in foreign countries has been extended 6 times so far. It was extended a year in each case. Now two more years have been requested. Why? Does this government think that the parliament will not be able to convene until October 2023? An election atmosphere is developing. Does the government lack self-confidence for a year later? Is it not able to foresee its future? Is it because it thinks that it won’t be able to get support from even its own deputies, so it wants two more years in advance? Answers to these questions should be sought by the political and social opposition. Instead of seeking answers to these questions, the opposition parties seem to be ready to say yes to the government’s request for a two-year extension. The Turkish opposition parties open a door to the war policies of the government.
Let us remind it once again: this bill will cause Turkey to be put onto the gray list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It will pave the way for new European commission reports saying that there is no law, justice and democracy left in Turkey, and invasive concepts have emerged in foreign policy. The new mandate means yes to the proxy wars in Syria. It means yes to the remnants of al-Qaeda and ISIS. It means ISIS and the like walking around as they like in this country.
We think that Turkey should improve its relations with all its neighbors in economic, diplomatic and cultural aspects. We want the 10-year-old war in Syria to be resolved through democratic methods respecting the territorial integrity of the country. The way to do this is through diplomacy and negotiation, but not resolution of war, proxy wars, and demographic operations on Syrian lands. We will vote no to the mandate. We will explain our reasons on this issue at the General Assembly of the Turkish Assembly.”
CROSS BORDER OPERATION IS CONSIDERED LEGITIMATE
The mandate for military action is justified by an alleged increase in risks and threats against national security. The justification of the motion cites Iraq’s territorial integrity, national unity and stability. “On the other hand, the continued existence of PKK and ISIS elements in Iraq and ethnic separatism pose a direct threat to regional peace, stability and the security of our country.”
The motion claims that stability was restored in the regions Turkey entered, and “…measures are taken in line with our legitimate national security interests in order to maintain stability. There are risks and threats concerning our activities to establish stability and security in Idlib within the framework of the Astana process.”
The motion refers to Article 92 of the Turkish Constitution and the United Nations’ (UN) resolutions on ISIS as the reason to extend the military mandate.
The motion says that it is important to take necessary measures in line with the international law, saying,“To effectively protect Turkey’s interests against unilateral separatist attempts that have no legitimacy on Turkey’s southern borders and to pursue a fast and dynamic policy in order not to encounter a difficult situation in the future, the Turkish army will be tasked to conduct cross-border operations and interventions to foreign countries if necessary. The number and duration of the troops will be decided by the president.”